If all goes as per Maharashtra government's plans, farmers in the state will get a new market in West Bengal and Assam, where there is a huge demand for onions, grapes, pomegranate and eggs. Minister of State for Agricluture Sadabhau Khot recently visited Assam and West Bengal to see if there were any market opportunities for Maharashtra in these two states. "These two states have a huge demand for onions, grapes, pomegranates and eggs. Currently, Kolkata gets most stock of onions from Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. If these states can sell their products, why can't we?" Khot said. The minister met the owner of Sufal Bangla, a chain of supremarkets in Kolkata and traders in Assam. "We have decided to supply onion and fruits to Assam through railway wagons and Maharashtra has prepared the proposal.
We are awaiting a response from Assam and an agreement between us will then be made," Khot said. He said there are 700 working groups of fruit producers in the state and each group consists of 50 farmers, that provide farm products across the country. "Farmers' groups will get an assured market and a good price for their produce. In Maharashtra, onion prices range between Rs 500-Rs 1,400 per quintal, whereas the same onion is priced at Rs 2,000 per quintal in Assam. "Even if we add transport expenses, our farmers will get a benefit of at least Rs 700 per quintal," Khot said. Meanwhile, Brijesh Singh, official spokesperson of Maharashtra government said, "The state cabinet has decided to make an arrangement of railway wangon to supply fruits in West Bengal and Assam markets, if these states are willing. An official will be deputed there to co-ordinate between farmers and traders.
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